Isabelle Gauthier Pointer
June 26, 1922 – February 27, 2018
ST. MARTINVILLE - A Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted for Mrs. Malcom L. Pointer, the former Isabelle Gauthier, age 95, at 10:00 am on Thursday, March 1, 2018 at St. Martin De Tours Catholic Church with Rev. Rusty P. Richard officiating. Interment will be held privately at a later date.
A native and resident of St. Martinville, Mrs. Pointer passed away peaceful on February 27, 2018 at The Carpenter House and St. Joseph Hospice in Lafayette.
Isabelle Gauthier was born on June 26, 1922 in St. Martinville, daughter of Anatole Charles Gauthier and Agnes Marie Rousseau. She attended school at the Convent of Mercy in both elementary and high school, graduating in May of 1939. Although awarded a scholarship to SLE in Lafayette, she chose to become a Sister of Mercy and entered the Motherhouse of that religious order in Webster Groves, MO in September of 1939 where she was prepared to become a teacher by attending Webster Groves College and St. Louis University in St. Louis, MO. At her reception into the Order, she was given the name of Sr. Mary Martin, the patron saint of her native Church parish, St. Martin de Tours, and town.
Her first teaching assignments were in Metairie and New Orleans and later in Jeanerette. After eleven years of teaching, Isabelle answered the call for volunteers amount the Sisters to become nurses when the new Mercy Hospital was built in New Orleans. Her nursing career began at Mercy Hospital, after which she was sent to Mercy Hospitals in Vicksburg and Oklahoma City, St. Edward Hospital in Fort Smith, AR, and St. Joseph Hospital in Georgetown, Guyana. There as obstetric supervisor, she was required to supervise nurse midwives for which she had not been prepared, so she requested attending a School of Nurse-Midwifery at Catholic Maternity Institute in Santa Fe, NM. After completing her education there, she returned to Mercy Hospital in New Orleans for a year.
Sister Mary Martin obtained a dispensation from her religious vows from Pope Paul VI in Rome and returned to secular life, where, as Isabelle Gauthier, she practiced her new career of nurse midwifery at the Knute Hansen Memorial Hospital on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, then at Baltimore City Hospitals in Baltimore, MD. When she learned that a new school of nurse midwifery was being planned in Mississippi, she applied to be on the faculty and was accepted to the position of Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing and Instructor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine and School of Nurse Midwifery in the University Medical Center at Jackson, MS.
There Isabelle met Malcolm Lawrence Pointer, a native Mississippian and a veteran of WWII who had studied architecture at Auburn University in Alabama. They were married in St. Martinville, but lived in Jackson where both continued in their respective careers. After retirement, the moved to St. Catherine’s Village, a retirement facility in Madison, MS where they lived until Malcolm’s death in 2002. In 2004, Isabelle returned to Louisiana, where she remained active in volunteer work at the Church and doing genealogy projects at the local library.
In 2014 Isabelle became a lay member of the Community of Jesus Crucified, a lay and religious organization founded by Rev. Jerome Grey in the Diocese of Lafayette and at present based in St. Martinville.
Preceding her in death were her husband, Malcolm L. Pointer; her parents, Anatole Charles and Agnes Rousseau Gauthier; five sisters, Marie Louise G. White and her husband Woodie, Inez Odile Gauthier, Annette G. Durand, Gertrude G. Bienvenu and husband Dr. Zerben, and Therese G. Delcambre; and three brothers, Anatole Charles, Jr., Lawrence Joseph, and Michael Denis Gauthier.
She is survived by one sister-in-law, Shirley P. Gauthier; one brother-in-law, Gordon Delcambre; numerous nieces and nephews of the Gauthier and Pointer families; as well as grand and great-grand nieces and nephews of both family lines.
To view the on-line obituary and sign the guest register, please visit www.evangelinefuneralhome.com.
Evangeline Funeral Homes, Inc. of St. Martinville is in charge of arrangements.
- A Mass of Christian Burial Thursday, March 1, 2018
Isabelle Gauthier Pointer
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March 1, 2018
Isabelle and Malcolm served as surrogate parents and later grandparents to our 9 children and we are deeply in their debt for this witness and love! Isabelle inspired my teaching as an NFP instructor and she was consistently faithful to the culture of life in all of her midwifery!
She and Malcolm are spiritual parents to many many souls throughout the world! Heaven is even brighter with her soul! Love!